RESTAURANT LA BROCHE: It’s All About the Ambiance

20121202-193520.jpgRemember in my first blog post ever, I mentioned that a group of friends and I started a group activity that aims to try out a restaurant in Geneva (or somewhere close to Geneva) that all of us have never been to? Well, after our first activity at Les Ralais l’Entrecote 9 or 10 months ago, we never really had a follow up activity. You see, all of us work in an emergency-related department/unit and dang, this has been a year of conflict emergencies! Thus, we never really had a chance to get together until a month ago.

Our dinner at Restaurant La Broche had 3 purposes: to resume our little eating group activity, celebrate 2 birthdays, and celebrate Halloween (sort of, I don’t really celebrate Halloween). And with those 3 reasons, I’d say La Broche was the perfect restaurant for us.

Location (4.5/5)

Restaurant La Broche is located at rue du Stand 36 Geneva 1204. Getting there through public transportation is very easy. You can take trams 14 (P+R Bernex) and 15, or buses 1 and 5 – get off at the Stand stop and walk a block. Stand is actually a nice area – it’s close to the shopping area but it’s not so much crowded compared to the town centre. There’s also a nice latino club next to the Restaurant so it’s perfect for a Friday night out. The Restaurant has a free parking at night. Although my only comment about the Restaurant’s parking was that my friends told me they had to look for another parking area because it was closed when they tried to access it. Perhaps my suggestion would be: call and ask for directions to access their parking area in advance.

Food (4/5)

Their specialty is their roasted chicken. However, since I eat roasted chicken practically at least 2x a week (because one of my favourite everyday restaurant is Chez ma cuisine) I ordered their lamb.

For starter (comes with the menu), we had salad greens with walnuts and parmigiano. For me, I love the salad – it was light, simple, but very good. Don’t miss out their bread – all of us were raving on how freshly baked and yummy their bread was.

As mentioned, for my entree, I had a roasted lamb with what seems to me was something like a port wine reduction sauce. I chose fries and roasted zucchini for my side dishes (you get to pick 2 from their list). The lamb was really good and I say they have the best shoe-string fries I’ve ever had in Geneva, so far!

For dessert, I had a fondant au chocolat, which I think is also called volcano or lava cake. Again, it was very good! However, I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve made a fondant au chocolat with the same quality – and I’m not exactly good at baking.

So, if all the food were good, why am I not giving a perfect score? Well, here’s the thing: all were good but nothing special (except for the fries). You see, the Restaurant is beautiful and has so much character – glass ceiling, stone walls, romantic setting. I guess, the ambiance builds up certain expectations that the food is going to be gastronomically perfect as well.

Ambiance (5/5)

This is probably one of the most beautiful restaurant that I’ve been to in Geneva. As mentioned earlier, the Restaurant has glass ceiling so on a beautiful night, you could literally be dinning under the stars. The stone walls are said to be centuries old. Some of my friends commented that it’s a bit too dark but for me, it’s part of its beauty – you’re supposed to be having a candle-lit dinner anyway. I see comments from other people that the place can be too noisy if it gets crowded, I didn’t actually get that. I guess it helps to come in early?

Price (3.5/5)

This is the part where my friends and I agreed to disagree. All of my friends thought the price is okay considering we are in Geneva. I paid something like CHF 50 and I felt like the food was not that special for it’s price. I remember having a Châteaubriand steak with Bérnaise sauce at St-Moritz earlier this year and the dish alone was CHF 55 per person but it was so good, so special, that I gladly paid CHF 55 for it. But as for my friends, the ambiance justified the price. So I guess it is justified if you look at it that way. But as for me, food quality and taste is a big factor on how I say if the pricing is justified or not. For La Broche, it’s not that bad but I don’t find it as reasonable either.

Service (4.5/5)

I was very satisfied with their service. The servers were very friendly. I heard some comments that the servers were not very helpful to them but I didn’t really feel that. I guess it is really an advantage coming in early (or at the opening), you’ll have everyone’s attention and energy (or at least most if them).

Overall (4.3/5)

Despite all of my ramblings on how the food was not special enough and how it is quite pricy, to be fair, I give it a 4.3/5 rating. In the end, it is still a good restaurant to bring your friends, family, or special someone for a special dinner. It is definitely not an everyday restaurant but as I said, it is okay for special occasions. If my family would visit me here and Geneva, it wouldn’t be my first choice though. By the way, the Restaurant also accepts big groups for a corporate event or something like that.

I heard they can get quite full in some days. Therefore, I highly recommend booking a table in advance.

For more information on La Broche, you can visit them at their website at http://www.restaurantlabroche.ch.

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